Tips to save water and money at home

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by WFAA Project Green

wfaa.com

Posted on February 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

By KATHLEEN PURVIS / McClatchy Newspapers

 

Saving water in the kitchen isn't the right thing to do just during a drought. It's the right thing to do all of the time.

Getting into these habits not only saves water – it can also make your cooking more healthful and even tastier.

 

Get your money's worth

 

1 When you get a drink of water, don't run the faucet until the water is cool. Put a pitcher or jug of water in the refrigerator.

2 Plastic bottles of drinking water cost more and add to landfills. Fill your own water bottle and take it with you.

3 Need a little hot water? Don't just run the faucet until it gets hot. Heat water on the stove, in the microwave or with an electric kettle.

4 Wash fruits and vegetables in a container of water. Then use that water for plants.

5 When you rinse the coffee pot, use the water in your compost bin or on your garden.

6 A garbage disposal is an inefficient way to get rid of kitchen scraps. Peel fruits and vegetables on a sheet of old newspaper, then fold it up and throw them away. Even better: Make compost. Save egg shells, used coffee grounds (and the unbleached paper filter), tea bags and trimmings from fruits and vegetables for your compost bin.

7 Fix drippy faucets and leaking pipes. A faucet that drips one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water a year.

8 When you replace your dishwasher, get the one with the highest efficiency rating you can afford.

9 If you can stop your ice maker easily, don't keep making ice when you have enough for the day.

 

Washing up

 

10 It takes less scrubbing to clean residue from pots and pans if you clean them right after you use them.

11 Don't waste water scrubbing pots under running water. Fill them with water and let them sit to loosen residue. For stuck-on on food, add water and a little dishwashing powder, then bring to a simmer on the stove.

12 Don't run the dishwasher until it's full.

13 There's no need to rinse plates and utensils thoroughly before putting them in the dishwasher. Just scrape off food and let the dishwasher do its job.

14 Washing by hand? Use the two-sink method: Fill one sink with hot, soapy water and the second with water for rinsing. Or use the one-sink method: Put a few inches of hot, soapy water in the sink. Hold the dish under hot running water just long enough to rinse it. The rinse water will add to the soapy water, keeping it hot as you work.

15 Don't keep adding glasses to the dishwasher every time you get a drink. Designate a daily drinking glass and don't wash it until the end of the day.

 

Cooking

 

16 Don't thaw frozen food under running water. Place it in a bowl of cold water. (Check it every 30 minutes to make sure the water is cold.) Even better: Plan ahead and thaw food overnight in the refrigerator.

17 Don't cool hot items, such as hard-cooked eggs, under running water. Put them in a bowl of water to cool.

18 Don't pour cooking water down the drain. Water from pasta, vegetables, rice and potatoes can be saved in the refrigerator for a couple of days and used for soup. That captures flavor and water-soluble vitamins and minerals, too.

19 Cook frozen vegetables in as little water as possible (package directions usually only call for a couple of tablespoons). Steam fresh vegetables instead of boiling: It saves vitamins and minerals and boosts flavor.

20 Heating a pot of water without a lid takes longer, and it releases heat that makes your air conditioner work harder, too.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer

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